A convection oven continually distributes and circulates heated air with a fan. When the hot wind is blowing onto food instead of just surrounding it, the food cooks quicker. Flowing air speeds up the rate of heat transference that typically occurs when the air from two different temperatures meets. The acceleration effect is one reason for the better results you get from convection cooking.
Following, we answer some of the most common questions we receive about convection cooking. If you have a problem that you don’t see listed here, please leave us a comment down below.
- What does convection cooking mean?
- What is a Convection Ovens?
- How does a convection oven top work?
- Type of convection oven
- How much faster is a convection oven?
- What is the difference between convection and a regular oven?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of a convection oven?
- How to use a convection oven
- What can I cook in a convection oven?
- Can you use aluminum foil in a convection oven?
- What kind of pans can you use in a convection oven?
- Are convection ovens noisy?
- Convection ovens buying guide
What does convection cooking mean?
Convection cooking is a topic that comes up a lot when selling ovens. Convection is your regular oven but with an added fan on the back to circulate air. True Convection, or European Convection, features a heating element behind the fan, allowing for better cooking results than standard convection. True Convection fans distribute heated air, rather than circulating pre-heated air.
Different Types of Convection cooking
In a thermal oven, radiant heat is the primary heat source used to cook the food. The weather comes from one of 2 locations: the bake element at the bottom of the oven; and the broil element at the top.
Bake elements render more BTUs/watts than a broil element, so naturally, there tends to be a higher concentration of heat toward the bottom of the oven. The majority of this heat ascends from the bake element and moves up and surrounds the food to cook.
If you are considering a convection oven, this is a different animal. The term “convection” implies a fan is used to distribute heat evenly within the oven cavity. In the most basic terms, the fan blows hot air onto the food to facilitate faster cooking and browning; the forced hot air feels more intense, therefore produces more rapid results.
Convection ovens continuously circulate the heat to mitigate any hot or cold spots. In addition to the fan, convection ovens have a bake element and a broil element just like thermal ovens. However, when you start seeing buzzwords like “convection fan”, “European convection”, “true convection” ,“twin convection” and “verticross convection” this is where the confusion sets in.
An oven with a “convection fan” is precisely what it implies – an oven with just a fan in the back wall. This fan does not have a heating element. The fan will assist movement of the radiant heat throughout the oven cavity. Typically, this is the type of convection system that we see in all-gas ranges.
“True convection” and “European convection” are one in the equivalent. The convection systems should go one step further to include a heating element wrapped around or placed after the fan.
To use the “true convection” setting would imply using only the cal-rod heating element around the fan and the fan itself; no other heating element would be operating at this time. True convection is only found in electric or dual fuel ovens.
“Twin convection” is a derivative of true convection; the only variation is the extension of a second fan. Most often they are placed side by side horizontally; though, there are a few brands that offer vertical placement. From my experience, two fans don’t always provide better performance.
You would think that two fans provide more power, or at least a more controlled flow of air. Sometimes their purpose is negated; the addition of a second fan sometimes creates a cooling wind channel in the middle rack. Anything baking or cooking on the middle shelf ends up lighter in color than the top and bottom frames.
“VertiCross convection” is the unique convection system exclusive to Wolf. The VertiCross convection system is composed of two columnar vertical blower fans located at the back corners of the oven.
Removing the fans from the traditional setting (center back wall) allowed for a curved back wall, creating more usable space. The columnar fans span from the top of the oven to the very bottom, allowing entire airflow front to back and side to side. The heating elements have also been reconfigured to run parallel with the fans creating that “true convection” system.
Key Differences of convection cooking
Consequently, you will notice the most significant difference in multi-rack baking/cooking and with large roasts; this is where convection cooking shines. You may not see a difference by one tray of cookies, but if there are three trays of cookies in the oven, hold assured they will all come out even in color. With big roasts, the differences will be diminished cook time, a crisper sear and even browning.
As for suggestions, with any convection, you can’t go wrong, it just depends on the level of precision you want. If you tend to do a lot of roasting of proteins and vegetables, a single convection fan, whether true convection or not, most often will suffice. If you bake a lot, then consider a “true convection” system.
The dry heat from an electric oven will yield better baking results. As for true convection with dual fans, I like the vertically placed fans. I feel they can cook more evenly throughout.
What is a Convection Ovens?
Very plainly, a convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that a regular oven does not. The fan and exhaust help blow hot oven air over and around the food, then vent it back out. As a consequence, this hot air surrounds the food so that it cooks uniformly and more quickly.
A great way to illustrate this comes from Fine Cooking: “To help understand this, consider wind chill: When cold air blows against you on a blustery winter day, you feel colder more quickly than you do on a windless day of the same temperature.” The same applies to heat and convection cooking! Turn on the setting and the fan and exhaust kick into gear.
How does a convection oven top work?
- Convection ovens have the heat source at the top and bottom of the stove as well as a fan that circulates the hot air around the food. This serves to evenly cook the food, especially baking and browning more smoothly, and sealing in juices. Conventional ovens do not have fans and use heat radiation that bounces off the oven walls.
- Heating through using the fan allows not only for even cooking, but also to have the food prepared at a lower temperature and in less time than a conventional oven. For example, you can drop the oven 25° and cook the menu for the same amount of time as a traditional oven. This does depend on the amount of food and oversized food.
- Electric convection is more even than gas convection because electric heat is a more consistent fuel than gas.
Type of convection oven
Microwave Convection Ovens
First, there are microwave convection ovens. These are equipped with both microwave and convention offer features. Microwave ovens cook food with incredible speed; this is done by heating the food and nothing else. The convection oven facilities work to provide fans that circulate to cook the food, and they use much less electricity. Microwave convection ovens broil, cook, bake, and warm food very effectively. Microwave convection ovens are perfect for cooking and heating food when you are in a rush, while not having to deal with the mess of a traditional cooking oven
Commercial Convection Ovens
Commercial convection ovens make use of a fan that works to circulate the air inside the oven. What this does is to evenly cook the food as it regulates the temperature inside of the oven. Commercial convection ovens operate on a central heat that is typically low so that it uses less energy. This can be done because of the way the fan technology works. Commercial convection ovens are closely related to the traditional stoves that people have in their homes and operate similarly.
Countertop Convection Ovens
Countertop convection ovens make it easy to cook small meals without having to deal with the house oven. These convection ovens are top-rated in many homes because they are small kitchen appliances that can perform some different things, and they are very economical as far as spacing and energy concerns go when you compare them to electric stovetop ovens. Countertop convection ovens are not the best for whole cooking meals such as a turkey or a whole chicken with, but they are good for many baking and cooking meals where a stovetop oven would not be ideal.
Electric Convection Ovens
Electric convection ovens are typically the stovetop ovens that people have in their homes. Convection, as we have previously talked about, uses fan technology to circulate heated air that is positioned near the cavity of the oven. Many manufacturers have begun to engineer the airflow in electric convection ovens to have better uniformity, which gives many people an even easier way to cook and prepare many different types of meals.
Gas Convection Ovens
Gas convection ovens perform the same essential functions as their electric counterparts, with the difference being that they do not work off of electricity; instead, they operate off of gas, which is used to power them. Many people prefer gas convection ovens because it is an excellent way for them to save money on their house electric bill, and it provides the same (and there are some who find gas convection ovens to be better even) outcome as far as preparing and baking meals.
Infrared Convection Ovens
Infrared convection ovens are a new type of convection ovens being offered, and they have a unique infrared cooking technology that will appeal to certain people. Infrared convection ovens are known to cook food up to 50 quicker than regular convection ovens. Not only that, but there is no smoke exhaust, and so you do not have to worry about smoking up the house. Infrared convection ovens are great for health-conscious families looking to keep their homes as safe as possible.
Infrared Over the Range Convection Ovens
There are many benefits to having over the range convection ovens (otherwise known as microwaves that are built into the range space.) These types of convection ovens provide excellent ventilation for your range (or stove), and they also help to preserve counter space in your kitchen. Over the range, convection ovens are matched with the range so that they keep a uniform look in your kitchen. These are good for people who want to have a range hood and a microwave combination piece.
Portable Convection Ovens
Portable convection ovens are great for families who want to be able to cook on the go. These convection ovens are small portable ovens that you can take with you; these are ideal for picnics at a park or forest where you might want to prepare a cooked meal. They are small and easy to pack and make for a great and quick way for people to be able to develop small meals on the go.
Professional Convection Ovens
You will find many professional convection ovens that are located in hotels and many restaurants that have to cater to large amounts of people per day. Professional convection ovens are set up to be able to be used continuously preparing meals while consuming the least possible quantity of electricity, which is done by fan placement in these professional convection ovens. Many restaurants will have these so that they can prepare large amounts of food for people quickly and efficiently. Professional convection ovens make an excellent choice compared to having multiple electric convection ovens set up.
Toaster Convection Ovens
Toaster convection ovens are small oven units that are used to eat small meals. These types of stoves are ideal for frozen meals that do not require the use of a full range oven. These toaster convection ovens use a minimal amount of electricity and are often small to preserve counter space while being large enough to accommodate a small meal that needs to be cooked or prepares.
How much faster is a convection oven?
Convection ovens work the same as a conventional oven with the addition of a fan in the back of the stove that circulates heated air around the food in a swirling pattern. When the fan is turned on, hot wind blows around the inside of the oven. It’s the fan that promotes even heating and more rapid cooling than a conventional oven.
So does a convection oven cook faster than a conventional oven?
The short answer to the question of which cooks more quickly is simple: the convection oven cooks faster. Studies show that though cooking times vary slightly from oven to oven, generally convection ovens cook 25% faster than conventional ovens at a lower cooking temperature of about 25 degrees F.
What is the difference between convection and a regular oven?
The Energy Star program rates many household appliances for energy-efficiency, but the authority excludes residential ovens, as well as ranges and microwaves, at the time of publication. Some consumers have come to rely on the yellow “Energy Guide” label that estimates the annual costs to operate various appliances. Even without Energy Star’s data, though, you can draw a comparison between convection and regular ovens. ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, a website hosted by the California Energy Commission, notes that convection ovens use about one-third less energy than regular ovens.
As a timesaver and convenience, you can cook multiple items by placing them in various frames in both a regular and convection oven. Many regular ovens have about two racks, or maybe even three racks in a larger built-in wall oven. Using trays in a regular oven is somewhat tricky because you have to evenly space the bakeware out on the multi-level racks, hoping the heat evenly distributes throughout the oven cavity. Convection ovens eliminate the guesswork because the fan forcefully and evenly distributes heat through the hole and around your bakeware.
Some professional chefs appreciate the fact that convection ovens do a better job of retaining moisture in roasted meats, poultry, and vegetables in comparison to regular ovens. The fan pushes the hot air close to and over the surface of your foods, creating a hardened, natural protective layer that traps in flavorful juices. Regular ovens may overcook or undercook your items due to the uneven distribution of heat.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a convection oven?
How to use a convection oven
Well…not exactly. Convection ovens take a little practice to use with your favorite recipes because this mode can indeed affect how dishes turn out during cooking. Let’s go over everything you need to know about this kitchen technology and how to cook with it properly.
Setting the temperature
Convection cooking is so efficient that you will need to begin by adjusting the temperature down for your recipes. This saves energy and ensures that your food will cook as expected instead of preparing too quickly. Here, we offer three essential rules to serve as a guideline:
- For shorter cooking times and easy projects (like cookies), lower the average temperature by 10-15 percent.
- For big cooking projects that will take a lot of time (like roasts), lower the temperature by as much as 30 percent for reliable cooking.
- When in doubt, drop the temperature by 25-30 degrees than the temperature you would usually use.
Give the air as much room as possible
For convection cooking depends a lot on air, it’s necessary to give that circulating air room to do it its work. Convection cooking is not the time to fill the oven rack with every pan you can squeeze in. Instead, limit yourself to one dish per rack to give the air plenty of space to move around.
Additionally, use low-profile pans and baking dishes when possible. Expose as much surface area of your food as you can to the moving air so that it can cook reliably. Today’s roasting pans and trays tend to have low sides, but if you have old cookware with a high profile, think about an update to improve convection results.
Set your timer early and check your dish
ConvectionEven with the temperature lowered, convection ovens can cook dishes faster than you might expect. To prevent unpleasant surprises, set your timer about 5 – 10 minutes earlier than you usually would (adjusting for the food and tray type), especially when first starting out.
When the timer goes off, check your food. If it looks like it’s doing nicely and could use several minutes to finish up, you are good to go. But if your food has already browned over, is at a hard sizzle, or looks done, you may want to cut your cooking time short to prevent drying out or burning.
How do you Preheat a convection microwave oven?
What can I cook in a convection oven?
Convection ovens can make your cakes fluffier and slightly more substantial and can bake several cakes at one time. Convection cooking also ensures that your pies are evenly baked, regardless of their position in the oven. Preheat your convection oven. Reduce the baking temperature listed on your recipe by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cake is enormous, reduce the heat an additional 5 to 10 degrees. Pour your prepared cake batter into the cake pan. Once the oven is preheated, place the pan in the oven. Leave at least two inches on all sides between multiple containers so the air can circulate properly. Do not cover cakes with tinfoil. Leave the oven door closed while the cake bakes. Convection ovens circulate hot air around your food, so opening the door releases a lot of heat. Check the cake for doneness about 10 minutes before the recipe suggests. Smaller cakes will bake faster in a convection oven, while larger cakes may take longer than a conventional oven. Remove your cake from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing it from the pan.
Yes. These stones need to get hot to get a crispy, brown crust on the bottom of pizzas and bread, so we recommend that you leave them in during preheating. Placing it on the lowest rack position gets it as close to the element as possible and allows it to reach an acceptable temperature.
Bake temp: 425 degrees. Bake time: around 8 – 10 minutes
These fan-assisted ovens work well with any of Colors’ Par-baked Crusts. We recommend placing the pizza directly on the rack without a sheet pan. If you can dedicate one convection oven to pizza production, you may place a pizza stone at the bottom of your oven. This will speed up the heat transfer and shorten the bake time.
All types of ovens can be used to roast a chicken, moist turkey as long as the temperature of the chicken; turkey is carefully monitored. So, although a convection oven will cook faster, even a bake oven will work if the turkey is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Also, convection ovens can also cook a variety of other food items such as:
- Bake vegetables
- Roast vegetables
- Bake cookies
- Cook vegetables
- Cook rice
- Boil potato
- Bake potato
- Make French fries
- Make Breads
- Potato wedges
- Dehydrating foods with water
- Chickenpeas ,dry fruit like almonds and cashew
- Make pie -pecan pie apple pie etc.
- Make casserole
Can you use aluminum foil in a convection oven?
Metal cookware should not be used in a microwave. Metal will not allow microwaves to penetrate; the food behind the metal will not be cooked. The metal could also cause arcing in the oven.
Microwave convection ovens can use metal and foil safely during the convection cooking.
Metal (aluminum foil) can be safely used in a microwave, but specific guidelines must be followed to prevent damage to the oven. The following describes the proper use:
- Aluminum foil is used to shield portions of a food item to avoid overcooking. (i.e., leg tips and wings of a turkey or ends of a leg of ham). It should be a small amount of foil when applied, and it should also be pressed close to the food item. No foil should be sticking up or out away from the food product. “Flags” or pieces of foil standing up will work as an antenna which could cause arcing.
- Do not completely cover any food item with aluminum foil. Do not leave metal twist ties on bread packages or other plastic bags when warming a food product. The metal twist ties act as an antenna and will cause arcing and possible damage to the oven.
- Metal clamp on a turkey will have to be left in a while defrosting since it is frozen into the bird. It is not a problem because of the size of the food product, and portions of the bird cover the majority of the metal clamp. However, the clamp should be removed once the bird has defrosted, and is ready for cooking in the microwave.
What kind of pans can you use in a convection oven?
You can use any pan you apply for a convection oven, with some adjustment in settings. Here are some types of pans we recommend for you used:
Metal Baking Pan
A convection oven works well with aluminum and light-colored metal pans. Dark or anodized cookware will brown quickly in your oven. You may still use this type of cookware; keep an eye on your dish to avoid over-browning.
Glass or Earthenware
Glass, ceramics and clay pans will work in your convection oven. Due to less effective heat conduction in these materials, use your standard or convection bake setting to use the bottom element. Heating the pan from the bottom will assist in even cooking.
Cast iron is much like a glass or earthenware pan; you will need to use the standard or convection bake setting for proper cooking.
For roast pans, purchase a V-shaped roasting rack. Having the meat elevated above the pan will allow the hot air to flow around the meat and brown and bake your roast evenly.
Are convection ovens noisy?
It is normal for the convection fan to operate during preheating when using non-convection functions. You may also hear the convection fan operating or cycling in ANY cooking function.
The reason the convection fan runs is to provide better baking and cooking performance. The convection fan may cycle on/off for short intervals during preheating, depending on the model, to optimize preheat times and provide uniform oven temperature. It may also run or cycle in ANY cooking function, besides just a convection cycle. This does not change the cooking time on non-convection functions.
The convection ovens that may experience this noise include:
- ANY gas or freestanding electric range or wall oven with convection.
- ELECTRIC convection fan turns on immediately.
- GAS convection fan turns on after approximately 5 minutes to allow proper burner flame establishment.
Typically, the fan operates during preheating for both non-convection and convection functions. It then turns off when the oven door is opened.
During preheat or when convection cycle is selected, the convection fan will come on:
- ELECTRIC convection fan turns on immediately.
- GAS convection fan turns on after approximately 5 minutes to allow proper burner flame establishment.
Convection ovens buying guide
When choosing the best convection oven, a few things have to be considered. Deciding which one to buy does not have to be tedious, know what factors to consider.
Aside from the space it will consume, the cooking capacity and energy consumption depending on the oven’s size. Convection ovens differ in width, depth, and pan position. Determine how much output you are likely to make so you can decide on the right size.
You can choose between gas or electric models. Some operate using gas and electricity to run the fans though some run on electricity alone.
Convection ovens vary in fans. Standard units have only one that also rotates in one direction. High-end top 15 Best Convection Ovens in 2018 – Complete Guide models feature multiple fans that can use auto reverse. Some ovens also have two fans for better air circulation and cooking.
Ovens differ in structure, which may affect cost. Some are built with glass doors for visibility, while others are made of stable doors. Some expensive models are manufactured with high-quality materials and design that allow them to retain heat longer or cool down faster.
This is important to note so you can check the oven to buy if you intend to cook in very low or high temperature. Ovens do differ in ranges of temperature. Some can cook as high as 550-degrees Fahrenheit or as little as 140-degrees Fahrenheit can while others only offer 200 to 500-degrees.
Know what accessories are included in the convection oven. It is best to have many accessories that can let you cook a wide range of dishes. These include rotisserie, pans, and racks.
Popular heating options include toasting, baking, and broiling. If you want more, you can look for ovens that offer other heating features such as reheating, defrosting and roasting. Some higher-end models can even replicate brick oven cooking through brick inserts.
Some useful features such as interior light, countdown timer, and others are great to have in your oven, too.
Having a convection oven is the real way to increase the speed and quality of your cooking. By today’s countertop convection ovens, you’re able to get all the benefits of owning a convection oven without taking up a lot of space. When it comes time for you to find the right convection oven for you, it’s all about knowing yourself, knowing your kitchen, and knowing your cooking habits. Once you narrow down how it is you’re going to be using the oven, and how much space you have for it, then you’ll be well on your way to finding the right stove for you. There are very many out there to choose from, but you need not feel overwhelmed. After reading about the top-rated convection ovens, and consulting the buyer’s guide, you should be ready to find the appliance that is ideally suited to your unique needs.